Echoes of good governance

by Editor

February 26, 2013 | 5:38 pm
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 For three consecutive days, a team of about 200 people, drawn from the Nigerian and international media, civil society groups, social media, development analysts and observers thronged Akwa Ibom.

The sheer number of coastal buses and the long convoy suggested something was happening. It was indeed, the National Good Governance Tour team, led by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku. The team was in the state in continuation of its nationwide tour of projects, as endorsed by the Nigerian governors and the National Economic Council. The tour was intended to provide platforms for local, states and the federal governments to, among others, showcase their programmes and investment friendly policies, in the effort to deliver services to the people, and of course, to engage the people on their expectations from governments at different levels.

After three days of unending tour of projects across the state, some members of the tour team expressed their opinions on the different projects they were able to visit. In this piece, therefore, I bring snippets of comments that emanated from the Citizens’ Forum/Town Hall Meeting, about the efforts of the present administration in the state, under the leadership of His Excellency, Chief Godswill Akpabio, CON.

Mohammed Garba, president of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ):

“…We have gone round some of the projects executed by this administration. Starting from the new Governor’s Lodge, the Governor’s Office, the Banquet Hall, the International Airport, the E-library, the Ibom Transport Company, to the Tropicana, which we all consider to be a very high profile quality project.

The flyovers, bridges and dualised roads that we saw are standard projects that are strategically located for easy access and movement within and outside Akwa Ibom State. We also saw the ongoing Specialist Hospital, the International Stadium, the Housing Estate, the polytechnic, the construction and rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools within the state.

The Honourable Minister and I were here in 2010. Then, most of the projects were either at foundation levels or were 30 – 40 percent completed, but today most of these projects have been completed. I commend his Excellency the Executive Governor for transforming Akwa Ibom State”.

Yemisi Bamgbose, national president, RATTAWU:

“…Without enumerating the wonderful projects done by this state government, we saw a completely different Government House, a state-of-the-art and uncommon e-library which I recommend to other states in this country. What amazed me more is the network of very solid and smooth roads that cut across the state”.

Dr. Mrs Brenda Akpan, pioneer president, NAWOJ:

“…As a daughter of the soil, I want to say that the complete turnaround that has happened in the state is commendable. What is happening here is a clear proof of governance through commitment, hard work and sincere efforts to positively change the lives of the people. We have been to states where projects by past administrations have been abandoned, therefore, we appreciate what is happening here. It shows that the leadership here is inclusive and participatory and shows that we have a visionary leader. I have observed also that women are active in the running of this state”.

Veteran Olawale Okunniyi, Pro National Conference Organisation:

“I came here with the aim of criticising this government because we have heard before now, of insecurity and violence within the state. So, as the spokesperson for the PRONACO, I was mandated to come and see the state of affairs here.

I have taken time to look at things in Akwa Ibom, and it is very glaring that the kind of reports we got is not really correct. I came purposely because this programme is to critic as well as celebrate government. But it is right to say it when we see positive development because it gives faith to the Nigerian people.

Akwa Ibom has shown us that if more responsibilities are given to the states, they will deliver, so I stand here today to tell the Federal Government to try as much as possible to give the federating units more power”.

Nasiru Kura, executive director, Basic Rights Action:

“During the courtesy call, before God and man, I said to myself “what is this man bragging about?” But after we went round, I saw for myself and I really appreciated the good works of this government. We saw a lot of transformation and infrastructural development. However, we observed that there is need for an improvement in areas of commerce and private sector involvement. We also observed that there is a need for improvement in the area of agriculture”.

Dr Alister Shoyode, chairman, BEN TV, United Kingdom:

“It takes good leadership to be able to execute such projects as we have seen in the state. Where credit is due, credit should be given. I want to say that Akwa Ibom can become a tourists’ destination”.

Mr. Laraban Maku, minister of information & communications:

“I must commend the secretary to the state government and the commissioners for their diligence, hard work and for following us everywhere to explain everything we needed to know. When we say that a government or a leader has performed, it means that the team he has put in place is performing and I commend and ask them to continue to work harder.

It is very important to open the space for women if we are to move forward with vigour. Today, the president has emulated former President Obasanjo by appointing women into key positions. I congratulate Nigerian women because they have been performing and we are seeing the results. So, with the involvement of women in the running of Akwa Ibom, it appears to me that Governor Akpabio and the president have a secret pact for women empowerment in this country. This is good for the country.

…The president wants transparency and you can see that in Akwa Ibom state today.

We have seen a state that is working, a government that is working and a happy people”.

The above comments are eloquent testimonies and further confirmations of earlier commendations of the uncommon transformation strides of Governor Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom State by eminent personalities from across the globe.

Akpabio is working, Akwa Ibom is transforming!



by Editor

February 26, 2013 | 5:38 pm
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